Nebraska's opening games of recent vintage have been a lot like James Bond movies. Sure some are better than others but for the most part they have all been well made and if you squint your eyes and look really close they all pretty much look about the same. Now just how good the opening game looks I have found often has no bearing on the kind of season that will unfold as it progresses. Bad opener doesn't have to equal bad season which is good news for Oklahoma fans. I still remember September 1st 2007 coming home from watching Nebraska open with a 52-10 win against Nevada and believing that the team I had just watched was the best looking Nebraska team I had seen since 2001 and that they were well on their way to at least 10 wins if not more. Of course 2007 was a disaster and that Nevada game was one of two good games that team would play all year. 2010's opener against a Western Kentucky team that was nowhere near as good as that bowl bound Nevada team was certainly less impressive but I would be shocked if 2010 ended the way 2007 ended. It certainly wasn't all bad. In fact the game went well enough that there was only two f-bomb rant's from the Count (directed towards Niles Paul and head referee and furniture salesman Clueless Clusterfucker.) Clueless likes Sarah Palin I guess incompetent people stick together. The College football season is a mystery novel that lasts a 4 month duration from start to finish. One of the greatest, and worst sometimes, things about it is seeing how the mystery novel plays out. Chapter 1 is in the books. There was some good, that made you wonder if it was really that good or Western Kentucky was that bad. And there was some bad that makes you wonder if it's really that bad or if it's rust that has built up since late December.
533 yards, 289 yards rushing? I don't care WHO Nebraska was playing Saturday those were great numbers to see. By kickoff most everybody figured Taylor Martinez was going to be the starting Quarterback so when it was announced there wasn't much shock only excitement. The Kid responded by running for a 46 yard touchdown on the third play from scrimmage. Martinez would finish with 127 yards rushing on 7 carries with 3 touchdowns. It felt like old times on the plains. The kid ran the ball with abandon though you still have to temper the enthusiasm with the reality of Western Kentucky. Of the TD runs the 3rd was the most amazing. Cody Green looked good in spot duty and it was good to hear Zac Lee get a nice ovation. Of the three backs Rex Burkhead looked best especially as a receiver. I don't think this offense fits a big power guy like Trey Robinson. Helu had a Touchdown but had a very quiet night. Niles Paul is still fucking Niles Paul. Special Niles and "Special" Niles. Great kick returns and a touchdown catch a fumble when he just dropped the ball followed up by a dropped pass. How can somebody be so good one play and so fucking retarded the next? The only real blemish on offense came in the second quarter when it turned sloppy after a 21-0 lead.
5 times better than last year huh? The defense was fine in the first half, 80 yards and no points. The second half made coach Bo Pelini to declare himself embarrassed. Bobby Rainey ran for 155 yards which was the first time since 2008 Nebraska had given up a 100 yards to a running back. Blown assignments from the emergency linebacker crew though David had 13 tackles. The 'backers were expected to struggle somewhat but the line play and secondary troubles were disappointing and disconcerting. Western Kentucky should have had 17 points. Rainey busted a run thanks to blown linebacker play was well on his way to scoring when Dejon Gomes caught him and stripped the ball at the goal line. Nebraska recovered for a touch-back. Were the problems do to a let up in intensity or are there real questions here? It speaks volumes how far Nebraska has come defensively since 2010 that a game where the opponent scored just 10 points is seen as such a disappointment. Not saying that in time this won't be a defense as good as last year's ( I doubt it will be better as the coaches claim) but right now it is not even close.
Special Teams. A-
Best special teams stat of the night. Alex Henery 0-0 on field goals. All the drives ended in 7 not 3. Henery averaged 42.7 yards per punt and Nebraska had several good kick returns from Niles Paul and Tim Marlowe. The only slight downer was some average coverage on kick returns.
What we learned:
It's difficult to learn much from games like this against Western Kentucky. Martinez is fast and allusive but can he lead the team against Washington, Texas, OSU and A&M? We still don't know.
Niles Paul is still explosive and still kind of a douchebag. Yes he makes great plays yes he's explosive but dropping wide open passes? fumbling the ball for no reason? Still equal parts great job Niles and get that guy off the field.
Clueless Clusterfuck and Big 12 officials suck penis. Ok we already knew this but is it too much to ask that officials at least know the damn rule book? Western Kentucky completes a pass and is ruled out at the goal line. they line quickly to catch Nebraska off guard and draw a penalty for illegal motion. At this point the ball is marked back at the 5 and the catch at the goal line is no longer reviewable since the penalty acts as another play. Yet Clueless goes back and reviews the play which was upheld. So did the review buzzer come before the flag? Then the flag shouldn't have counted and the ball should be at the goal line. After review the ball was still placed at the 5 meaning now Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is upset because the play shouldn't have been reviewed\ because the next play had expired Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggert is upset because he thinks the ball should be 5 yards up the field because if there was a review the flag shouldn't have counted. Meanwhile the refs are at a complete loss. All I can say is if Clueless Clusterfuck runs his furniture store in Lufkin the same way he officiates it's worth the drive to go somewhere else to buy chairs and a bed if you live in Lufkin. Big surprise the old incompitent fuck is a Palinhead huh?
Overall B leaning towards B-
I think Western Kentucky played very hard and about as well as it could. They'll win some games this year and seem to be a much better team than they were a year ago. As for Nebraska. It was an opener. Some good and some not so good. Is martinez that good? Will the defense become close to what they were last year or were those second half breakdowns symptoms of a larger problem? Since 2006 in openers Nebraska has beaten Louisiana Tech 49-10, Nevada 52-10, Western Michigan 47-24, Florida Atlantic 49-3 and now Western Kentucky 49-10. I guess as long as they're successful we'll over look the fact that they were all pretty much the same damn game with the same questions at their conclusions. Of course all of those mystery novels ended differently how Nebraska football 2010 ends we'll know in 12-13 chapters or 4 months from now.
Around The Big 12.
Iowa State started fast and then coasted to a 27-10 win over Northern Illinois. The Cyclones looked good for a quarter and a half and then seemed to be too pleased with themselves. They did to their credit finish the game off in the fourth quarter.
Missouri beat Illinois 23-13 but scared nobody. They need to figure out how to run the football pronto.
Kansas lost to North Dakota State 6-3. Part of me feels bad for Turner Gill because he is a good guy and a Nebraska hero however part of me remembers my dealing with Vagina Hawk and Ass Hawk and Jill Harper and can't help but go HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! On the plus side the winning coach Craig Bohl was also a former Nebraska player and coach.
Kansas State beat UCLA 31-22. Daniel Thomas is a stud and this game would have been over sooner had Kansas State just stuck to running the football. UCLA had no answer for Kansas State's running game and wanted no part of hard physical football. In other words they were UCLA.
Colorado beat Colorado State 24-3 Normally I would caution against putting much into a 24-3 win over a team like Colorado State but this was a nice win for CU and just what the doctor ordered for Dan Hawkins. It doesn't solve all of his issues but it damn sure didn't hurt.
Texas beat Rice 34-17. Dan Beebe and the Big 12 powers that be may have their work cut out for them if they want to deliver another title to their love child. Texas wasn't impressive to say the least.
Oklahoma beat Utah State 31-24. Note to Sooner fans posting suicide videos on YouTube you won the game! Oh and your videos are damned entertaining. Just like Texas obviously this was not an impressive outing at all for OU although Texas did have Rice put away for the most part at halftime. OU went down to the wire. Was this a fluke or is OU not as good as they are thought to be? I know what I am hoping for.
Oklahoma State 65 Washington State 17. Ok with Texas and Oklahoma looking very shaky I would look at this and say Oklahoma State could win the south. Except this is Oklahoma State we are talking about. Not surprised OSU won nor am I surprised it was a blowout I am surprised that a team pretty much starting over put up 65 points even over a Hapless Washington State bunch.
Baylor 34 Sam Houston State 3. Baylor won handily, Robert Griffin looked good and didn't get hurt not sure what more you could ask for if you are a Baylor fan. No muss no fuss.
Texas A&M 48 Stephen F. Austin 7 Exactly what A&M should do to Stephen F. Austin so I guess that's good. Just as you don't proclaim Taylor Martinez as a God for tearing up Western Kentucky or Oklahoma finished for almost losing to Rudypoo State don't proclaim A&M's defense old school wrecking crew because they stopped Stone Cold...err The 6 million...err Stephen F. Austin.
Texas Tech 35 SMU 27. The Tommy Tuberville era gets started in Lubbock with a win and against an SMU team that isn't that bad either. It has to be a little disconcerting for Tech fans that several times they had chances to put this game away and never could and also that SMU scored 10 points in the 4th quarter to put a game that should have been over up for grabs. Still this is a better showing than say...Oklahoma's.